Monday, September 18, 2017

This Day in Pony History: September 18th, 2011

It's been six and a half years, give or take, since I got on the pony ride, and I'm feeling a little nostalgic.  So I thought I'd take a time-out from reviewing today, and instead look back at what the fandom was up to on this day in 2011--the first year there was a G4 fandom on this date.  If you too want to revel in remembrance--or if you're just curious to click around a few old links--head down below the break!

As best I can remember, there were five major loci of pony-ness as the fandom launched into Season 2 (which had aired the day before): 4chan's /co/ board, Equestria Daily, Derpy News, ponibooru, and Ponychan.  First, the bad news:

1) While /mlp/'s (nee /co/'s) MLP general has an extensive archive, it appears that everything before early 2012 is missing.  This date in 2011 would've been during the time when the MLPG was the only place ponies were permitted on 4chan; the early attempts to ban ponies altogether were well in the past (though drama was never far away; 4chan, doncha know), and the creation of the /mlp/ board was still months away.

2) ponibooru would cease to exist just a few months from this date in 2011, with the modern derpibooru replacing it.  derpibooru saved all the images that had been uploaded to ponibooru... but if there's any way to see what date they were actually posted on the original site, it confounded me.

3) Ponychan would eventually merge with MLPchan, and while the two sites have a small archive of select threads, nothing interesting from this date pops up.

So that's disappointing.  But, we still have Derpy News and EqD!  Let's see what they were up to:

Posted to Derpy News this day in 2011:

Evolution of a Scene #6:  ...And we start with a dead youtube link.  I remember these posts, though, with the show's animators showing those sketch-card-things that you do before actually animating for a few scenes from the show, and getting to see what changed from concept to completion.

The Semi Annual Derpy Art Dump!:  Pictures of Derpy!  What more do you need?  Oh, right, pictures of Derpy with Carrot Top.  And September 18th was, like, the one Art Dump when no Derpy + Carrot Top pics made it in :(

Madmax Comic (S2C1):  Speaking of things that make me sad, I hope Madmax made it... Madmax, if you don't recognize the name, was easily the most famous pony comic artist in the fandom's early years.  Sadly, she was kicked out of her home in a South/Central American country.  I don't remember which one and can't quickly find it, but it was the kind of place where being a teenage girl living on the streets was a bad idea--and she hasn't been heard from by the community since.  I chose to believe everything worked out for her shortly thereafter and that, like so many, she just didn't come back to ponies because of a lack of interest.  But it still makes me sad to think about.

Man, this nostalgia trip is getting grim.  Anyway, this is here S2E1 cthulhu comic.  Now, let's check in on EqD!

Posted to Derpy News this day in 2011:

Another Pony Speech!:  Remember back when high-schoolers talking about FiM for their mandatory speech class was a thing?  Here's one.  It's, ah... well, I hope he doesn't feel embarrassed about this being preserved for posterity.  Hey, it's a mandatory speech; nobody's expecting quality.

Bronies United: Equestria Girls Singalong:  On the subject of things I hope people don't look back on with embarrassment, here's a few dozen guys of wildly varying musical talent singing along with Equestria Girls!  No, not the movie--that wouldn't be for a while yet.  This sing-along is to the only Equestria Girls we then knew: the California Girls parody ad that the Hub (remember the Hub?) ran.

Nightly Roundup #101:  Just what it sounds like: a bunch of minor news items that didn't merit their own posts.  Highlights include the a youtuber captioning the episodes in German, Rainbow Dash cake, and a random picture of Rarity yelling at thread.

GMOD Pony Pack #2:  A collection of rigs for use in Garry's Mod, i.e. models to make stuff like this.  Apparently, this pack includes a Molestia Rig!  Molestia's eventual banishment from Tumblr and eventual pseudo-return are both well in the future at this point.

Story Updates September 18:  Binkie Pie got its fourth chapter today; its 20th and final chapter was a mere five years, four-and-a-half months away :p  Of course, many of the stories on here never finished at all, though there are a few you've heard of in the mix, like Transcendence and Sepia Tock.  Or at least, you've heard of them if you paid attention to my 6-star reviews!  Book of Friendship and Michael Bay Presents are in there too, if you need some more blasts from the fanfic past.

Story: Of Fillies:  A one-note joke of a story about Celestia being age-regressed and getting up to cuteness in Ponyville.  A pretty typical example of the kind of story EqD used to post before the pre-readers started cracking down not just on grammar, but on "is this story actually interesting?"

Music: I Love Everything / We're On To Somethin' Good / Rainbow Flight Ft. Fluttershy:
  Songs you don't remember!  Or at least, I don't remember them.  None of these three made it big, fandom-wise.

Epic Rap Battles of Pony: Twilight Vs. Trixie:  I never really got the appeal of these, and they were ubiquitous for a while.  Also, Seth is wrong; there is no possible justification for the high squeaky voice, it's terrible :(

YTPMV: Twilight Goose / Rainbows Dash Road / Pinkie Part:  Jeez, I don't recognize any of these either.  Well, either of the two that are still up, anyway.

Comic: Call of the CMC:  I wasn't kidding when I said Madmax was a big deal!  Her comics were regularly posted as soon as they were made, basically everywhere.  It was a thing; small wonder, since she was one of the first a) talented, and b) prolific comic artists in the fandom.

Drawfriend Stuff #189:  Lots of Discord stuff, and S2E1 stuff in general (including Molestia x Door!), but also your usual assortment of art randomness: Lyra riding a segway through LA, for example.

Season 2 Episode One 3rd place for Top Favorited on Youtube:  You don't see it as much on EqD these days, for obvious reasons, but a lot of articles used to be about Bronydom's rapid spread.  So, news posts like this about pony being unexpectedly popular/being forced up a list high enough that everyone would see it were very common.

Season 1 Transcripts  The link's dead; thankfully, other transcribers have come through in the interim.  We are not beholden to you, Alan Black!

Ponyarchive Episode Downloads:  Your usual post-episode "here's where to get it" post.  Good luck with the link; I didn't even check it, but I'm gonna go ahead an guess it's probably not working anymore.

PMV: At the barricade (les miserables) / Pony Ex: Equestrian Revolution / Sweet Dreams:  Hey, I remember the first one!  It was a pretty standard PMV, and of course it only had S1 footage to work with, but I like the song, and honestly?  When it comes to ponies, sometimes, that's enough.

Story: Pony Psychology (Update: Story 2 Complete!!): Here's another fic you might recognize from the 6-star reviews!  It's too bad the star ratings all got wiped; it'd be interesting to see which stories stayed above the 4.9 threshold as the years went by, and which ones slowly but surely dropped as people randomly dropped by, and dropped a one-star.  Who would come to visit the Pony Psychology Series' page on EqD, years after it was published?  Me, obviously, but besides that?

YTPMV: Brony Heaven / Gala-xy Ponies / Discord Scan:  In case you haven't noticed, there are a lot of YTPMVs during this era of EqD.  They started really proliferating sometime during the summer, as I recall, and it got pretty ridiculous before the staff started getting pickier about what they posted.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Explains Pony Fanfiction:  This was one of a series of videos wherein a guy doing a bad Ah-nold impression yelled stuff about MLP over show clips.  It's not there anymore.   I watched several of them in the day, and the best explanation I have for my behavior is that I really liked ponies, and I guess Schwarzenegger?  

PMV: Cutie Mark Lariat / Party with Pinkie - Alex S. / My Little Avatar:  Yup, even more PMVs!  But hey, can't got wrong with Party with Pinkie, at least.

Season Two Available on Itunes:  Just a standard news post.  Gotta love those Twilight derp-eyes, though.  Man, they had that on official stuff forever, before they got some better stock art.

And that's about it!  And of course, there was one more important thing going on on this day in 2011: in his old room, Chris was sitting at his computer, idly looking for fanfic reviews because he had too much to read.  "It'd be nice if someone would give an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of various fanfics," he thought to himself, "and save me a little time!"

About a month later, Chris would make a terrible mistake, and his dream of having more free time by virtue of the existence of one or more curated lists of fanfiction died a cruelly ironic death.


  1. Now this is a fascinating glimpse into another world.

    Damn, I hadn't even heard of Friendship is Magic back then. If it even existed in people's consciousnesses, "My Little Pony" was basically a punchline for people who giggled at sappy girly things. Or else it got a rare "Oh yeah, that thing exists. So what's for lunch today?"

    Myself, I think around that point I was reading Peter Medawar and a load of dinosaur books. Oh yeah, and there was something about deserts. Also fish. I was into science a LOT around that point.

    Still am, to an extent. Just not as much as I used to be. Come to think of it, I should rectify that as soon as possible. Past me puts present me to shame. :(

    Getting back to the OP, that is a fascinating retrospective, though it feels a bit like picking through the Cambrian fossils and just marvelling at what weird experiments didn't take and at what could have been.

    In some cases, marvelling at the thought that anyone believed it could have been something! Ha ha! I kid, I kid, but seriously: boy oh boy has the fandom come a long way.

    Also: Oh, you poor naïf, young-Chris. At this rate, we'll soon have more pony words on this planet than actual people. The internet in its entirety is a black hole that sucks up all free time. You don't escape. Ever.

  2. Is that what happened to Madmax? I never knew. :C I hope she's okay, late though this hope might be.

  3. Well that was fun.

    Man, now I'm trying to remember when Cheezburger/Memebase split out My Little Brony as a separate page. I don't think it could have been much later than this. But of course they can't be bothered to have date/time attached to each post (anymore?). In any case, a lot showed up on, I think, their Cartoons and Anime page even before it was separated.

  4. I think this was about the time I was getting into the series as well. Actually, no, maybe a little bit before. I do remember that Return of Harmony was the first episode I watched as it came out. Remember how they left that on a cliff-hanger for a week? Jesus, the wait for part two was painful. I'm glad they don't do that anymore.

  5. I always find these nostalgia posts fascinating. I was already a furry when G4 began, which made it impossible to not know about it. Artists I followed would suddenly start drawing pastel horses, and people on forums would just start acting like it was a thing. Despite that, I just figured: "yea, that's probably something I'd enjoy in passing if I ever got around to it." It was years before I first watched an episode, sometime between seasons 3 and 4.

    When people start talking about the old days of the fandom, it's all new to me, and I find it strange to imagine it going on around my presence on the web without me being aware of it. And also strange because the rise of a fandom is not something I've experienced. There's so much excitement, and so much uncertainty. Furries aren't like that; none of them expect their interests will become popular, and none of them are worried their fandom will die out. It makes such a contrast.

  6. This was around seven months before my time in the fandom, but I was a little more into furry than I am now, so I knew the show existed. I just hadn't quite been cajoled into watching it yet. I don't recognise many of the things above, "Party with Pinkie" excepted, and I didn't even know who Madmax was until I reviewed an odd story called "Madmax x Pacce" about two years ago. Shows how transient horsefame can be, I guess.